Nail salons are not all the same – just like restaurants there are the fine dining restaurants and then there are cheap fast-food outlets. And just like choosing a restaurant, choosing the wrong nail salon could result in pain, permanent damage or illness.
We service a lot of nail clients. The majority are repeat clients who love our staff, service and the products we use. We also regularly get plenty of new clients that come from other salons, first-time acrylic nail clients or an old client that wants their nails back on. The clients that come from existing salons come to us because they are not happy – the nails just aren’t up to scratch, the staff are unprofessional or something much worse…….dangerous products or nail damage, infection and fungus have reared its ugly head.
Below are some useful tips to help you find a safe beauty or nail salon and once you find one, no doubt you’ll keep coming back again and again.
Have you ever been to a bad restaurant and noticed something not quite right in the way they handled your food or drink (I myself hate when someone hands me a glass by holding on to the top of the rim). I bet it really turned you off and you may have even suffered food poisoning as a result. When you visit a nail or beauty salon you’re being touched all over. We’re using all sorts of tools and equipment that come into contact with all sorts of body parts and bodily fluids. Hygiene is just as important – if not even more important as a restaurant.
We’re visited on a semi-regular basis by the council (or their representative) for health and safety checks and we pass every time with flying colours (we’ve even been told we were the cleanest salon they had ever seen). But the reality is that some salons just aren’t up to scratch.
Here are few tips for finding a Hygienic Salon:
- No Double Dipping – the process of re-dipping the same end of a spatula back into the wax pot after it has been in contact with your skin (particularly for bikini waxing). Not to be confused with using the other clean end of the stick. This most hideous and dangerous practice occurs in even some of the most upmarket waxing salons in Adelaide – I know because some of my staff have quit from those salons because of it. Guess where they came to get away from it.
- Disposable implements – a lot of salons pressure their staff into re-using the same wax stick, nail file or foot file to save money. It’s Disposable all the way at Polished Beauty.
- Wearing Gloves – such a simple one, but you would be surprised how many don’t wear gloves.
- Foot Files instead of corn blades – Only a Podiatrist can use a corn blade to shave the skin from a foot.
Keep an eye out next time you visit your local nail or beauty salon. Or you could visit a salon that makes Hygiene a priority – like us!
Unfortunately the Beauty Industry is not very well regulated. There are no licences issued (like in the US) to practice as a beauty therapist or nail technician here in South Australia. There are however, qualifications that are recognised Australia wide in the beauty industry – Certificate II in Nail Technology, Certificate III in Beauty Services, Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy and Diploma of Beauty Therapy. These qualifications are issued by TAFEs around Australia as well as private RTOs (Recognised Training Organisations). These are heavily regulated to ensure consistent training and results among students. All of the staff at Polished Beauty have these types of Qualifications depending on the services they provide. Overseas qualifications or courses studied through private non-RTO schools have no consistency or guarantee that the student is studying the correct health and safe practices.
So what do you as a client need to worry about when picking a Safe Salon:
- Is this Nail Technician or Beauty Therapist Qualified?
- Where did they get their qualifications?
- Is their qualification recognised around Australia?
As an example, I’ve quite often seen Non-Standard Salons (read more about Non-Standard Salons here) using corn blades during a pedicure to shave dry/hard skin off clients feet. No TAFE or RTO in this country would teach or allow their students to do that – it’s illegal. Only a Podiatrist should be using a blade to shave the skin.
If in doubt – ask the employee. If you don’t like their answer, take your business elsewhere!
I bet this is not something you think about when considering a salon – but you definitely should! All businesses should have appropriate business insurance that protect their business. But just like Doctors, Builders & Lawyers etc. Nail and Beauty Salons need to protect their clients as well from personal injury and property damage. A professional well-run and safe salon should have this insurance. Polished Beauty has Broadform Liability Insurance that protects our clients in the very unlikely event something goes wrong. That’s the first tick in the box – having the insurance.
The second tick is complying with the insurance policy. As a client you will probably not be aware what is required but we’ll give you some insight.
- If salons are importing their own products (via an overseas online store, eBay, Alibaba or family etc.) they become the manufacturer and are liable for any damages. Quite often insurance policies will exclude any liability if a salon imports their own products. Make sure the products they are using are purchased here in Australia. This ensures that if there is a problem with that product the professional salon wholesaler (who would have the appropriate insurance and licences) become liable.
- Quite often, imported products are also fake and of poor quality. You can forget about making an insurance claim against the manufacturer when it’s not even their product.
- An employee must have Australian recognised qualifications for that services as well as specific training in that service and product. Untrained employees or employees with quick, cheap overseas training may not qualify for insurance protection.
- A Safe Salon needs to comply with all the relevant health and safety legislative requirements. This extends not only to hygiene practises but dangerous substance labelling laws, first aid kits and fire extinguishers.
Hopefully these quick tips will help you identify what is a safe salon and what isn’t. Read some more about Polished Beauty and what we stand for.